The Making of a JAG Attorney: Where the Law and the Military Meet

Melissa Carlot Ehlers will never forget her beginnings as a judge advocate for the Marine Corps. “One of my first cases involved a Marine who was accused of sexually assaulting and murdering a female Marine at Camp Lejeune,” said Ehlers, who served as the assistant federal prosecutor in the trial. “We were seeking the death penalty as punishment, since the murder was premeditated. Coming out of law school and sitting on a case of that magnitude, I really got to see both sides of the case. The perpetrator’s family came in, and they could have been your neighbor. He was raised by such a nice family.”

Interservice Cooperation in Military Justice

Each military service has unique customs and rules that make it difficult for members of one service to efficiently participate in military justice matters related to another service. An Army officer serving as a panel member (military juror) in a Coast Guard court-martial for negligent hazarding of a vessel may not fully understand the rules the accused allegedly neglected. Similarly, a Navy commander administering nonjudicial punishment to an Air Force officer for fraternization2 may not fully understand the Air Force customs in this area.

The New Military Retirement System: An Overview of its Development and a Review of its Features

On Nov. 25, 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law the first major overhaul in the military retirement system in more than 64 years. For the first time, there will be no traditional 20-year, all-or-nothing retirement plan for those starting their military careers in 2018. Instead, service members will participate in a blended retirement system composed of a partial defined pension plan and a defined contribution plan.

Drawing Straight With Crooked Lines

A Conversation With William Ayres, Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Army

Domestic Violence Laws Unfairly Harm Injured Veterans and Their Families

The effects of two developments that began during the Vietnam War era are colliding in our courts today. First, after our returning Vietnam veterans were treated so shabbily, we, as a country, had to learn that it was acceptable to hate a war while, at the same time, love its warriors. Second, and entirely unconnected to the treatment of Vietnam veterans, activists were finally able to force the issue of domestic violence upon the national scene and to secure change.

If You Represent Government Contractors, Beware: False Claims Act Litigation Is Rapidly Becoming a Growth Industry

If your clients do business with the federal government, the possibility of a whistleblower suing them under the False Claims Act (FCA) should keep both you and your clients awake at night.

Drafting a Tort Complaint Against the Federal Government and Its Contractors and the Limitations on the Independent Contractor and Discretionary Function Exceptions

Sovereign immunity normally precludes suing governments—except to the extent that the sovereign agrees to be sued. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) is a waiver of sovereign immunity. The FTCA allows one to sue the United States for tort claims, as though the United States was a private person, and in accordance with the laws where the act or omission occurred.


Connect With Us...